|Publication number||US7334592 B2|
|Application number||US 11/107,198|
|Publication date||Feb 26, 2008|
|Filing date||Apr 15, 2005|
|Priority date||Apr 15, 2004|
|Also published as||CA2565609A1, CN1976607A, EP1744646A2, US7261113, US20050268954, US20050274405, WO2005102096A2, WO2005102096A3|
|Publication number||107198, 11107198, US 7334592 B2, US 7334592B2, US-B2-7334592, US7334592 B2, US7334592B2|
|Original Assignee||John Tartaglia|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (107), Non-Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (5), Classifications (18), Legal Events (3) |
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
US 7334592 B2
A cane having a base having at least one wheel, a substantially vertical member connected to the base, a brake within the vertical member, the brake including at least one actuator and a brake pad and a hand grip proximate the actuator wherein the brake is engageable by the application of a substantially downward force from a user's hand while the user's hand is on the hand grip and a method for using same. A cane having a brake releasable and engageable by the substantially downward force of a user's hand while the user's hand substantially continuously maintains a grip on the cane and while the user walks beside the cane. A cane having a plurality of hand grips, an upright member connected to the plurality of hand grips, a base, having wheels, connected to the upright member, a brake connected to each of the plurality of hand grips wherein the brake is engageable by a hand having a substantially continuous grip on any of the plurality of hand grips. A cane having an upright member having a longitudinal axis and a brake forming an angle with the longitudinal axis a base having a plurality of wheels, the base forming an angle with the longitudinal axis, the upright member and the base being configured to engage and disengage the brake with a ground surface when the upright member is tilted.
1. A cane comprising:
a base having at least one wheel,
a substantially vertical member connected to the base,
a brake within the vertical member, the brake including at least one actuator and a brake pad; and
a hand grip proximate the actuator and fixed to the substantially vertical member wherein the brake pad is engageable with a ground surface by the application of a substantially downward force upon the actuator from a user's hand while the user's hand is on the hand grip and on the actuator.
2. The cane of claim 1 wherein the brake is extendable and retractable below the base.
3. The cane of claim 1 wherein the brake is secured to the cane by a spring.
4. The cane of claim 1 further comprising at least one intermediate actuator upon which the application of a downward force causes the brake to be engaged, the at least one intermediate actuator being connected to the substantially vertical member between the hand grip and the base.
5. The cane of claim 4 wherein the at least one intermediate actuator is configured to travel along the substantially vertical member in response to the application of the substantially downward force and in response to the removal of the substantially downward force.
6. The cane of claim 4 wherein the intermediate actuators are intermediate cross members.
7. The cane of claim 1 wherein the cane is a free-standing cane.
8. A method of assisted walking comprising:
grasping a cane having a base with wheels, a substantially vertical member fixed to the base, a hand grip fixed to the substantially vertical member, a brake linkage within the substantially vertical member, the brake linkage including a brake pad, a vertical rod, and at least one actuator proximate the hand grip;
maintaining between the cane and a ground surface substantially continuous contact while walking beside the cane; and
engaging the brake with the ground surface by applying a substantially downward force on the actuator by a hand placed on the hand grip and on the actuator.
9. The method of claim 8 further comprising releasing the brake while the hand remains on the hand grip and on the actuator.
10. The cane of claim 1 wherein the base consists of three wheels.
11. The cane of claim 1 wherein the brake further comprises a rigid rod connecting the actuator and the brake pad.
REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/562,668 filed Apr. 15, 2004.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to articles useful in assisting a person with walking and climbing vertical rises. Ordinary canes require a person to lift the cane, move it forward, plant the cane, take a step to reach the cane and repeat the process. For those people who are unsteady on their feet, the period of time that the cane is aloft may cause strain on the joints and limbs and a loss of balance and possibly an injury or fall. A cane is, therefore, needed that can remain in contact with the ground at all time while a person is walking. There is also the need for such a cane to be equipped with a brake to prevent the cane from drifting during use.
Many people have difficulty climbing steep or vertical rises (e.g., steps, curbs, into automobiles). In the case of stairs, this difficulty is often due to the high riser on many standard and non-standard stairs. A device is needed that will enable those people to climb vertical rises reducing the height that they are required to lift their leg to climb the rise.
SUMMARY OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
In one embodiment there is a cane having a base that includes at least one wheel, a substantially vertical member connected to the base, a brake within the vertical member, the brake including at least one actuator and a brake pad and a hand grip proximate the actuator wherein the brake is engageable by the application of a substantially downward force from a user's hand while the user's hand is on the hand grip. In another embodiment there is a cane having a brake that is extendable and retractable below a base. In yet another embodiment there is a cane having a brake that is secured to the cane by a spring. In still another embodiment, a cane has at least one intermediate actuator upon which the application of a downward force causes the brake to be engaged, the at least one intermediate actuator being connected to the substantially vertical member between the hand grip and the base. In another embodiment, there is a cane having at least one intermediate actuator that is configured to travel along a substantially vertical member in response to an application of the substantially downward force and in response to a removal of the substantially downward force. In one embodiment, a can has intermediate actuators that are intermediate cross members. In another embodiment, the cane is a free-standing cane. In a further embodiment, there is a can with a brake that is engageable with a ground surface.
In one embodiment, there is a method of assisted walking that includes grasping a cane having a base with wheels, a substantially vertical member fixed to the base, a hand grip fixed to the substantially vertical member, a brake linkage within the substantially vertical member, the brake including a brake pad and at least one actuator proximate the hand grip, maintaining between the cane and a ground surface substantially continuous contact while walking beside the cane, engaging the brake by applying a substantially downward force on the actuator by a hand placed on the hand grip. In one embodiment, the method includes releasing the brake while the hand remains on the hand grip.
In another embodiment there is a cane having a brake releasable and engageable by the substantially downward force of a user's hand while the user's hand substantially continuously maintains a grip on the cane and while the user walks beside the cane. In one embodiment, there is a cane having a brake that includes a stopper for engaging a ground surface.
In one embodiment, there is a plurality of hand grips, an upright member connected to the plurality of hand grips, a base with wheels connected to the upright member, and a brake connected to each of the plurality of hand grips wherein the brake is engageable by a hand having a substantially continuous grip on any of the plurality of hand grips. In one embodiment, the cane includes a plurality of hand grips that are vertically spaced apart along the upright. In another embodiment, there is a cane having three wheels.
In another embodiment, there is a cane having an upright member with a longitudinal axis and a brake forming an angle with the longitudinal axis, a base having a plurality of wheels, the base forming an angle with the longitudinal axis, he upright member and the base being configured to engage and disengage the brake with a ground surface when the upright member is tilted. In one embodiment, there is a cane that is configured to be free-standing wheels and a brake engaging a ground surface. In another embodiment, there is a cane having a transverse axis and a brake forming an angle with the transverse axis. In yet another embodiment, there is a cane with an upright member that has a plurality shafts and a plurality of brakes.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Reference is made to the accompanying drawings in which are shown illustrative embodiments of the invention, from which its novel features and advantages will be apparent. In the drawings:
FIG. 1A shows a rolling cane according to the present invention.
FIG. 1B shows a rolling cane having an angled frame according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 shows a base of a rolling cane according to the present invention.
FIG. 3 shows cross members of a cane according to the present invention.
FIG. 4 shows a cut-away view of a brake of a cane according to the present invention.
FIGS. 5A-5C shows a cane of the present invention.
FIG. 6 shows a cane of the present invention on a stair.
FIGS. 7-14 shows a rolling cane of the present invention.
FIGS. 15-20 shows a step-up cane of the present invention.
FIGS. 21A-21D shows a rolling cane according to the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Reference will now be made in detail to preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts. To provide a thorough understanding of the present invention, numerous specific details of preferred embodiments are set forth including material types, dimensions, and procedures. Practitioners having ordinary skill in the art, will understand that the embodiments of the invention may be practiced without many of these details. In other instances, well-known devices, methods, and processes have not been described in detail to avoid obscuring the invention.
The present invention is directed to a wheeled cane that will permit a person to walk along side the cane, using the cane for support substantially at all times without the need to lift the cane from the floor while walking. The present invention is also directed to a step-up cane that features at least one platform upon which a person can step as an intermediate point between vertical rises (e.g., stair treads, curbs, automobiles).
FIG. 1A illustrates a cane 100 of the present invention. Cane 100 includes a base 200, a member (e.g., frame) 300 and a brake 400. Cane 100 and each component thereof may be constructed from metal, polymer, wood, fiberglass or any other suitable material or combinations of materials. Materials are preferably selected for their light weight, stiffness, durability, constructability and aesthetic appeal. In one embodiment, base 200 and frame member (e.g., frame) 300 are integrally cast or molded as a single piece.
In one embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 2, base 200 has a centerline 250. Base 200 preferably has a plurality of wheels 210. Preferably, base 200 has a sufficient number of wheels 210 to permit cane 100 to remain free-standing when not in use. In one embodiment, cane 100 has skid pads (e.g., brake 2141 in FIG. 21) in place of one or more of wheels 210. In one embodiment (FIG. 2), base 200 has two forward wheels 211 on either side of centerline 250 and two rearward wheels 212 on either side of centerline 250. Forward wheels 211 are preferably offset further from centerline 250 than rearward wheels 212. Forward wheels 211 may be offset an equal or smaller distance from centerline 250 as rearward wheels 212. The difference in offset preferably accommodates a person's foot when they are walking along side cane 100. (FIG. 2). In one embodiment rearward wheels 212 are offset approximately two inches from centerline 250 and forward wheels 211 are offset approximately four inches from centerline 250. Those skilled in the art will understand that different offset distances will fall within the scope of this invention and will be determined by, for example, the size and weight support requirements of cane 100. In one embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 2, member (e.g., frame) 300 has a centerline 251 which is oriented along centerline 250. Forward wheels 211 are preferably offset a greater distance from center point 251 than rearward wheels 212. In one embodiment, forward wheels 211 are offset approximately four inches from centerline 251 and rearward wheels 212 are offset approximately two inches from centerline 251.
Member (e.g., frame) 300 is preferably substantially vertical in relation to the floor surface or ground upon which a person is walking. In one embodiment member 300 is angled a dimension of between 0° and 10° off vertical and preferably approximately 6° from vertical. (FIG. 1B) Preferably, member 300 is angled away from the direction of travel. (FIG. 1B) Member 300 preferably has a hand grip 330. In one embodiment, member 300 is fixed to base 200 by means well known in the art (including e.g., welding, bolting, gluing, bonding, riveting). In one embodiment, member 300 and base 200 are integrally formed by, for example, casting or molding.
In one embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 1A, cane 100 has an aperture 310. Aperture 310 preferably extends vertically through cane 100 (e.g., from a point proximate handle 330 to a point below base 200). In one embodiment, shown in FIG. 1A, member 300 has two uprights 320, 321. In another embodiment, member 300 has a single upright or more than two uprights. Aperture 310 preferably extends through one of uprights 320, 321.
In one embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 3, member 300 includes one or more intermediate actuators (e.g., cross members 340). Cross member 340 preferably include sleeve 341 which surrounds upright 320, 321 allowing cross member 340 to slide vertically along member 300. The present invention may use any number of cross members 340. Preferably sleeve 341 forms a connection between two cross members 340 such that both cross members 340 move in unison vertically along member 300. As illustrated in FIG. 3, cross members 340 preferably have restrictions to vertical travel along uprights 341 by pins 351, 352. Pin 351 preferably restricts upward movement of cross member 340 and pin 352 preferably restricts downward movement of cross member 340. Pin 352 further engages brake 400 thereby permitting a person to apply downward pressure on cross member 340 to engage brake 400 (discussed in more detail below). Member 300 preferably includes one or more accessory attachment fixtures 360. Fixture 360 is preferably a hook adapted to carry, for example, a handbag. Fixture 360 may include a strap, a snap, VelcroŽ-type connections, a clip or any other type of attachment mechanism.
Brake 400 preferably has a rigid rod 405. (FIG. 4) Rigid rod 405 preferably extends through aperture 310. Brake 400 has an actuator (e.g., pad) 410 which is fixed to rod 405, or preferably is integral with rod 405. Actuator 410 is preferably proximate handgrip 330. In a preferred embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 4, rod 405 extends from actuator 410 proximate handgrip 330 to floor 50, preferably through aperture 310. Brake 400 has a ground engaging means which is preferably a brake pad (e.g., stopper) 420 that is fixed to rod 405. In one embodiment stopper 420 is integral with rod 405 thereby forming a single piece. Stopper 420 may be any material but is preferably elastomer or some similar material with a high friction coefficient for engaging floor 50. In a preferred embodiment, brake 400 is extendable through aperture 310 by depressing actuator 410 downward.
In a preferred embodiment, when actuator 410 is not being depressed, brake 400 retracts from floor 50 allowing cane 100 to roll unimpeded. Retraction of brake 400 is preferably achieved by a spring 430 which engages base 200 and brake 400. Spring 430 may engage brake 400 by any means but is preferably connected to brake 400 by pin 353. Pin 353 preferably extends from rod 405 outwardly from member 300 and rides in slot 363 of member 300. Thus, when actuator 410 is depressed with sufficient force, pin 353 depresses spring 430 until stopper 420 engages ground surface 50 (FIG. 7). When the downward pressure is removed, spring 430 expands against pin 353 and brake 400 retreats from surface 50 (FIG. 8). In one embodiment, to maintain the orientation of actuator 410 with hand grip 330, pin 354 may be extended from actuator 410 to frame 200 (FIG. 9).
Cross member 340 may similarly be employed to engage brake 400. By depressing cross member 340 with sufficient pressure to overcome the upward pressure of spring 430, cross member 340 preferably engages pin 352 thereby forcing brake 400 (e.g., at brake pad 420) to engage surface 50 (FIG. 10).
Thus, the present invention provides a useful means for a person to walk with continuous assistance from a cane without the need to lift the cane from surface 50. In a preferred means of operation, a person positions hand grip 330 in such a fashion as to orient pad 410 in the heal of the person's hand. Thus, while a person is walking using cane 200 brake 400 may be engaged in a simple motion of depressing the heal of the hand downward without removing the hand from handgrip 330.
The present invention also provides a useful apparatus to assist a person in standing from a sitting position. Cross members 340 are preferably positioned at a height that would enable a person to steady themselves for example, while sitting on a chair. The person then preferably depresses cross member 340 thereby engaging brake 400 with surface 50 to prevent cane 100 from rolling. In one embodiment, the person uses one or more of cross members 340 to assist them in standing without fear that the support will drift. When downward pressure is removed, brake 400 retracts from surface 50 and the person may then walk with assistance from cane 200.
The present invention also includes a cane 1000 illustrated in FIG. 5. Cane 1000 has a base 2001 with at least one platform 2000, member (e.g., frame) 3000 and legs 4000. Member (e.g., frame) 3000 includes one or more uprights 3001 and a handgrip 3030. Member 3000 is oriented on any location relative to platform 2000 but is preferably offset to one side of platform 2000 (FIG. 17). Member 3000 is of a fixed height in one embodiment. In a preferred embodiment Member 3000 has an adjustable height.
Platform 2000 preferably has a first tread 2010 and a second tread 2020. In a preferred embodiment, first tread 2010 is fixed to frame 3000. In one embodiment, member 3000 and first tread 2010 are integral with one another (e.g., a casting). Second tread 2020 preferably extends from first tread 2010 in such a manner as to provide a surface upon which a person can stand with at least one foot. In a preferred embodiment, first tread 2010 and second tread 2020 are connected by a securement 2030. Securement 2030 may be any securement that enables second tread 2020 to extend from tread 2010. Securement 2030 is preferably a hinge. (FIG. 5) Platform 2000 has dimension D from member 3000 to the end of second tread 2020 that is preferably approximately 6˝ inches. Platform 2000 has a width W of preferably approximately eight inches. Those skilled in the art will recognize that any dimension D or width W will fall within the scope of the invention. The size of platform 2000 may be optimized such that cane 1000 can be steadied on a lower surface (e.g., stair tread 620) (FIG. 6) thus enabling a person to stand on platform 2000 while cane 1000 is on the lower surface (e.g., tread 620).
In a preferred embodiment, legs 4000 are attached to platform 2000. Though any number of legs may be useful for the purpose of the present invention, preferably four legs are attached to first tread 2010 and two legs are attached to second tread 2020. In one embodiment, three legs are attached to first tread 2010. In one embodiment, one leg is attached to second tread 2020. The number of legs 4000 in one embodiment is determined by the number necessary to enable cane 1000 to be free-standing when positioned on a surface (e.g., stair tread). In one embodiment (FIG. 16), six legs 4000 are attached to platform 2000; two legs 4001 proximate the outer edge of second tread 2020; two legs 4002 proximate securement 2030; and two leg 4003 proximate member 3000. (FIG. 16). In one embodiment legs 4003 proximate member 3000 are oriented on a side of frame 3000 opposite substantially all of platform 2000. (FIG. 16).
Legs 4000 may be any height H and are preferably such a height H so that platform 2000 is approximately four inches above a lower surface (e.g., stair tread 620). (FIG. 6). In one embodiment a height H of four inches is preferable because that is approximately half the height of a stair riser 610. In practice, a person would position cane 1000 on a lower surface (e.g., stair tread 620) while standing on the lower surface (e.g., tread 620). To achieve the next higher surface (e.g., next higher step, curb, automobile interior), for example, a person may first step on platform 2000 then on the higher surface. From the higher surface, for example when a person wants to climb a set of stairs, the person would then position cane 1000 on the higher surface (e.g., tread 630) and repeat the process. In one embodiment, more than one platform 2000 may be included to provide a plurality of intermediate steps between vertical rise surfaces. The height of platform 2000 or the spacing between the more than one platform 2000 may be any height to accommodate the purpose.
In a preferred embodiment, when cane 1000 is not being used to assist in the climbing of vertical rises, second tread 2020 may be retracted to facilitate the use of cane 1000 for walking. (FIGS. 18, 19, 20). In one embodiment, second tread 2020 is folded over first tread 2010 via securement 2030 (e.g., a hinge). (FIGS. 18, 19, 20).
There is illustrated in FIG. 21, a rolling cane 2100 of the present invention. Cane 2100 at least one upright post 2120. Upright post 2120 preferably has a longitudinal axis 2122. Upright post 2120 preferably includes a brake (e.g., a stem) 2121 which is oriented at angle α to longitudinal axis 2122. In a preferred embodiment, α is approximately 45°. Brake 2121 preferably has a stopper 2141. Stopper 2141 is preferably made of elastomer or some other high friction material. In one embodiment, cane 2100 preferably has two upright posts 2120 that are preferably connected by a handle 2150. In an embodiment with two upright posts 2120 and two stoppers 2141, stoppers 2141 are spaced a distance A from one another. In a preferred embodiment, A is approximately eight to twelve and preferably ten inches.
Cane 2100 also has a base 2130. Base 2130 may be attached to upright 2120 or it may be integral with upright 2120 or brake 2121 (e.g., cast as one piece). In one preferred embodiment, base 2130 is arc shaped with each end of the arc being configured to accept an axle 2142. Wheels 2140 are preferably connected to base 2130 via axle 2142. Wheel 2140 may be attached to base 2130 in any other manner known to those skilled in the art. Base 2130 is preferably oriented to upright 2120 such that it forms an angle β with longitudinal axis 2122. In a preferred embodiment, β is approximately 45°. In one embodiment, wheels 2140 are spaced apart a distance B. In a preferred embodiment, B is approximately ten to fifteen and preferably thirteen inches. Wheels 2140 are approximately three to eight and preferably five inches in diameter. In one embodiment, larger diameter (e.g., 8 inches) wheels 2140 are preferable for outdoor use and smaller diameter (e.g., 3 inches) wheels 2140 are preferable for indoor use.
In one embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 21, cane 2110 has a transverse axis 2123. Stems 2121 are preferably oriented at an angle A relative to transverse axis 2132. In a preferred embodiment, Δ is approximately 45°.
When not in use, longitudinal axis 2122 is preferably approximately normal to ground surface 50 and cane 2100 is free-standing. When in use one may tilt cane 2100 from its free standing position toward a user such that stopper 2141 leaves ground surface 50. In a preferred embodiment, wheels 2140 are oriented more upright than in the free-standing position as a user rolls cane 2100 as they walk. To stop wheels 2140 from rolling, one may merely return cane 2100 to its free-standing position to engage stopper 2141 with ground surface 50.
Although the foregoing description is directed to the preferred embodiments of the invention, it is noted that other, variations and modifications in the details, materials, steps and arrangement of parts, which have been herein described and illustrated in order to explain the nature of the preferred embodiment of the invention, will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Any dimensions referenced herein are preferred approximate dimensions. Those skilled in the art will recognize that any dimensions selected to achieve the objectives of the present invention are within the scope thereof.
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|GB2057896A *|| ||Title not available|
|JP2004357731A *|| ||Title not available|
|JPH1071181A *|| ||Title not available|
|1||Executed Declaration of John A. Tartaglia.|
|2||U.S. Appl. No. 29/215,836, filed Oct. 25, 2004, Karasin et al.|
|3||U.S. Appl. No. 29/215,837, filed Oct. 25, 2004, Vellrath.|
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|8||U.S. Appl. No. 29/215,883, filed Oct. 25, 2004, Reed et al.|
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|11||U.S. Appl. No. 29/215,902, filed Oct. 25, 2004, Reed et al.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7849966 *||Aug 15, 2006||Dec 14, 2010||Rexon Industrial Corporation Ltd.||Collapsible stand for machine|
|US7992584||Apr 20, 2010||Aug 9, 2011||Bernardo Birnbaum||Walker with retractable wheels|
|US8464994||Oct 22, 2009||Jun 18, 2013||Rexon Industrial Corp., Ltd.||Folding tool stand|
|US8517413||Feb 17, 2010||Aug 27, 2013||Rexon Industrial Corp., Ltd.||Mobile tool stand|
|US8523123||Mar 10, 2010||Sep 3, 2013||Rexon Industrial Corp., Ltd.||Foldable tool stand|
| || |
|U.S. Classification||135/85, 135/72, 135/67, 280/87.021, 135/65|
|International Classification||A61H3/04, A45B1/02, A45B1/00, A45B9/00, A61H3/02, A45B7/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A61H2201/1614, A45B1/02, A61H2003/0272, A61H3/04, A61H2003/046|
|European Classification||A45B1/02, A61H3/04|
|Apr 17, 2012||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20120226
|Feb 26, 2012||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Oct 10, 2011||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|